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Etan Zaitsu

Etan Zaitsu
Year Graduated: 2011
Title: Lobbyist, California Political Consulting Group (CalPCG)
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Home > William Dean
William Dean

William Dean

Director of Advocacy and Public Impact, Tufts University
Year Graduated: 2008

Undergraduate: Boston College
Major: B.A. Psychology, Theology
Year/Track: 1993

Summary Bio

William (Bill) Dean '08 is the director of advocacy and public impact at Tufts University. He went to law school to make a large-scale impact in public health through policy formation and advocacy. He chose McGeorge for the opportunities available to hone his policy analysis and advocacy skills, its LGBT-friendly campus, and the accessibility students have to their professors. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and theology from Boston College (1993) and a Master's degree in social work from Salem State University (1998).

Full Profile

Helping people has always been the driver of Bill Dean's, '08, career. In his early career, Dean helped one individual at a time as a geriatric social worker. "While I was directly helping people every day, it left me with a longing to effect change on a larger scale for older adults, the disabled, and their caregivers." This longing led him to work as a paralegal in disability and corporate law to confirm his desire to attend law school. "I enjoyed bringing my social work values to the field of law and seeing ways to improve the law for the benefit of others. Law school seemed to be the next logical step."

Professor Larry Levine was instrumental in recruiting Dean to the School. "He reached out to me and highlighted how McGeorge checked all of the boxes I cared about:  A solid legal education with an eye toward public policy, a supportive, accessible, and LGBT-friendly faculty, and a breadth of clinics, internships, and job opportunities to hone my advocacy skills. McGeorge very soon became my first choice."

While at McGeorge, Dean had the opportunity to explore projects that he was passionate about. A favorite memory of his was when he helped an elderly woman write her will through McGeorge's Elder & Health Law Clinic. "She didn't have much to her name, but what she did have was extremely important to her."

But it was while interning at the Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse that Dean realized his true passion for public policy. After law school, when a McGeorge alumna told him about a position as the lead consultant to the California Senate Health Committee's Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care, Dean applied and received it. "In that position I really felt like all my experience came together and I was making a large-scale difference, crafting legislation to improve programs for seniors and persons with disabilities across the state."

When Dean decided to move back to his hometown of Boston, he searched for a similar position. He first worked for a consumer advocacy organization where he helped the Obama administration implement the Affordable Care Act. Two years later, he started his current position as the director of advocacy and public impact at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. In this position, he supports the School in its mission to improve the nutrition wellbeing of people through evidence-based interventions and public policies. He believes good nutrition is the cornerstone of improving global health and views this position as a symbol of everything he has worked for. "If you can improve someone's nutrition and access to food, whether they are a child, an elder or a refugee, you not only make a significant impact in people's lives but in the global healthcare ecosystem."

Dean credits McGeorge for this transformation. "McGeorge alumni are making a real difference around the world, and I'm honored to be part of this fantastic network."

Dean holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and theology from Boston College (1993) and a Master's degree in social work from Salem State University (1998). In the future, he hopes to continue to advocate for a healthier world, on the largest scale possible.

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